Two receptions

A couple of weeks ago, I had two similar, yet dissimilar, experiences that God used to speak to me.  I'll bet you can relate.

One day, I was just too lazy to put on make-up and look presentable.  Do you ever have one of those days?  Truth be told, I have way too many of them!  I had worked out and showered (bonus points, anyone??) but just didn't want to do anything beyond that.  Even though I knew I had several errands to run.  You know the rest.  It's inevitable  - whenever I look like "death on a soda cracker", I run into at least 5 people I know.  People that I would just as soon think I looked better than that!! This day was not an exception.  At the grocery store and the post office and Target.  Sigh.  The joys of living in a small town! 

At each of these encounters, I was embarassed.  I offered excuses.  Even apologies!!  Each person was kind, of course, but I chided myself over and over for not at least putting on mascara or a clean shirt!  And I promised myself I would do better next time.  This awkwardness and self-ridicule was uncomfortable. 

But I knew better.  I would repeat the same scenario.

And it didn't take long.  Just a day later than this, I was scheduled to go to an event at a dear friend's house.  It wasn't a black tie event but it warranted more than the jeans-sweat shirt-no makeup-at-all look that I was sporting.  In self-defense, this wasn't completely out of laziness this time.  Company stayed longer than expected and I ran short of time.  It wouldn't have been impossible to have cleaned up a bit but it wouldn't taken more energy and effort than I had in me at that moment.  So I pondered.  Do I go, looking like "death on a soda cracker" (again!) or stay home and save myself the embarassment?  I texted the host the "do I have do dress up" question.  Sort of an advance warning! She assured me it would be fine to come as I was.  Even added that she hadn't been able to work a shower into her day that day.  I felt better.  Then I thought about who would be there.  And I didn't feel dread.  Or embarassment.  Or even regret.  I knew there was fun to be had that night and I needed replenishing.  I felt accepted.

I went.  Ponytail and jeans and all.  And accepted I was.  Any tinge of regret that I felt was eclipsed by the embrace of my friends.  I knew they loved me completely.  No judgment for my deficiences.  Absolutely no condemnation for my lack. No demands that I do better next time.  Just love and acceptance and gladness that I came. 

That was a great evening.

On the way home, I felt God's tap on my shoulder.  Then His whisper in my ear.  One day you and I will meet Him face to face.  Which way will we feel?

2 Cor. 5:9,10  "Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad"  
1 John 2:28 - "And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away in shame at His coming"

Frankly, I expect that I will have regrets for things done as well as things not done.  In that moment, I am sure there will be some feelings of chagrin or contrition. I am motivated to strive to live now in such as way so as to minimize such feelings.

 But I am confident that those feelings will be swallowed up in the joy and delight and complete acceptance that I will experieince in the embrace of my Lord.  My failures and inadequacies will not be recognizable because they are covered by Him.  IN HIM, I am complete. Not condemned.  Accepted. Loved.  Cherished.  Jeans and sweatshirt and all.
Oh Hallelujah!!